Why did Florida Gunman Kill Six People?

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
July 27 2013 6:00 PM

Police Struggle to Figure Out Why Florida Gunman Killed Six People

A 43-year-old man began a deadly rampage Friday night from inside his own South Florida apartment. By the time a SWAT team stormed his apartment complex and fatally shot him eight hours later, Pedro Alberto Vargas had set fire to his apartment and fatally shot six people in and around his building in suburban Miami. Why? No one knows.

"Nobody seems to know why he acted the way he acted," Hialeah Police Department Spokesman Carl Zogby told reporters. The rampage began at 6:30 p.m. Friday, when Vargas apparently set fire to his apartment, reports CNN. As the two building managers—a couple from Colombia who were a month away from celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary—went to see what was happening, Vargas fired as many as 20 shots, killing them, reports the Miami Herald. Vargas then opened fire at rescue workers, and shot and killed a man who was walking with his son across the street. He then proceeded to shoot out a door at an apartment in his building and killed the three tenants inside.

Advertisement

Vargas took two people hostage but they were both rescued when the SWAT team stormed the building. Police are investigating whether Vargas had a dispute with the building management, which so far seems to be their only lead as far as a possible motive is concerned, notes the Associated Press.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

TODAY IN SLATE

Sports Nut

Grandmaster Clash

One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

Uh-Oh. The World’s Oceans Have Broken Their All-Time Heat Record.

The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”

Future Tense

How to Keep Apple From Sharing Your iPhone Data With the Police

Food

How to Order Chinese Food

First, stop thinking of it as “Chinese food.”

A Simple Way to Keep Apple From Sharing Your iPhone Data With the Police

The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant

The XX Factor
Sept. 18 2014 11:40 AM The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 18 2014 8:20 PM A Clever Attempt at Explaining Away a Vote Against the Farm Bill
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 18 2014 6:02 PM A Chinese Company Just Announced the Biggest IPO in U.S. History
  Life
Outward
Sept. 18 2014 4:15 PM Reactions to a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Reveal Transmisogyny
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 18 2014 8:07 PM Crying Rape False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 4:33 PM The Top 5 Dadsplaining Moments From The Cosby Show
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 6:48 PM By 2100 the World's Population Could Be 11 Billion
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 18 2014 3:35 PM Do People Still Die of Rabies? And how do you know if an animal is rabid?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.